Jared Sullinger

Steelers' Le'Veon Bell finds success on the ground by not rushing

About three times every week, Larry Caper sees the text from his former Michigan State teammate. "Wanna play?" Le'Veon Bell will ask. They both open the SocialChess app on their phones. They have played 48 games since October, so Caper knows what to expect. Bell holds back his queen, rooks and bishops, exercising patience with action pieces until he senses an opening. He anticipates and waits, prodding for weakness. He will grow aggressive, on his terms only.

"Once you make a dumb move, he'll make you look stupid," Caper said. "He's an opportunist."

Caper understands the peril NFL defenders confront against Bell. On a Pittsburgh Steelers offense...